Guangzhou Storehouse Explosion Kills At Least 4 [UPDATE]

Guangzhou storehouse explosion 1
Another explosion rocked southern China, this time in Guangzhou. At 11:50 am today, according to Xinhua, a storehouse in the Ezhangtan area of Baiyun district went up in flame, rubble, and smoke. Four are confirmed dead, and at least 36 others injured. The exact cause is unknown, but initial reports are that -- unlike the blast outside a Guilin primary school yesterday -- this was an accident.

“Film Is The Most Dangerous By Far”: An Interview With “Cancelled” Beijing Independent Film Festival Artistic Director Dong Bingfeng

Dong Bingfeng
After a handful of English-language publications declared that authorities had "shut down" the Beijing Independent Film Festival (BIFF), many people likely dusted their hands of the matter, thinking censorship had once again triumphed over artistic expression. But as James Hsu discovered more than a week after the festival’s supposed cancellation, BIFF held a successful, albeit quiet, closing ceremony following a full program of screenings and panels. So what happened? A few days after the closing, I met with artistic director Dong Bingfeng to ask him about that and other issues on censorship, film in China, and independent festivals in the future.

Explosion Kills 2, Injures 44 Outside Primary School In Guilin [UPDATE]

Guilin school explosion 3
An explosion outside Balijie Primary School between 7 and 8 am today in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has left at least two dead and 17 injured. Witnesses told Xinhua that the explosion happened when "a man riding a three-wheeled motorcycle passed the entrance," though the exact cause of the blast remains unknown.

Rescued Trafficking Victims Returned To Parents Who Don’t Want Them

Kidnapped and trafficked children
The parents of kidnapped children are often anguished, distraught, hysterical, and other things we can't begin to imagine. That's easy enough to understand, because we've all had something stolen from us, maybe even something valuable, so we can at least appreciate what it's like to lose a child. But this -- this is slightly tougher to fathom.

A Closer Look At The Cop Who Smashed A Baby, And Those Who Failed To Serve Justice

Cop who threw baby to the ground
Sometime after 9 pm on July 18, Linzhou police officer Guo Zengxi, off-duty and on a night-long bender, stumbled outside a KTV building, snatched a 7-month old infant out of an unfamiliar couple’s hands, raised her over his head, and slammed her into the ground. The young girl, named Yueyue, lost consciousness before being rushed to the hospital, then spent days in intensive care with multiple skull fractures.

Anti-Rumor Campaign Puts Another Microblogger Behind Bars

Do not believe rumors
After locking someone up for misreporting the number of deaths in a traffic accident as 16 when it was really 10, and someone else for saying seven died in a different traffic accident when the real answer was three, and smearing Charles Xue, authorities apparently still believe their anti-rumor-mongering campaign is effective. In Qinghe, Hebei province, they've used it to net another victim recently:

Authorities Wage Campaign On Those They Dislike: The Arrest And Smearing Of Charles Xue

Charles Xue
Whatever happens in the privacy of one's home is apparently not always private, especially if you're a notorious rabblerouser with 12 million followers on Sina Weibo. Chinese American Charles Xue, aka Xue Biqun (and Xue Manzi on Weibo, an anti-trafficking and environmental adovcate), was captured in Beijing last Friday for soliciting a 22-year-old prostitute. That's hardly the end of the story though. In the past week, authorities have gleefully smeared him in public, including on, it seems, every CCTV news broadcast, emphasizing Xue's confession and his love for sex parties. LOCK HIM WITH THE PEDOPHILES!

Li Tianyi Pleads Not Guilty To Rape, Claims Unconsciousness

Li Tianyi trial in Beijing
Li Tianyi, 17, son of PLA singers Li Shuangjiang and Meng Ge, pleaded not guilty to gang rape on Wednesday as his trial kicked off in Beijing's Haidian People's Court. An "insider" told Beijing News that Li said he was sleepy on February 17 after a night of drinking, so when he and four friends brought the alleged victim, a 23-year-old woman surnamed Yang, up to a hotel room -- where they took turns raping / having sex with her (depending on who you believe) -- he was not up to task.

Li Tianyi Gang Rape Trial Begins In Beijing

Meng Ge, mother of Li Tianyi
One high-profile trial ends, and another begins. Hearings for Li Tianyi, son of famous PLA singer Li Shuangjiang, commenced this morning from Beijing's Haidian People's Court. Li, who is also known as Li Guanfeng, and four others are accused of gang-raping a woman surnamed Yang on the night of February 17 in a hotel.

High-Pressure Water Fountain Blasts Boy 2 Meters Into Air (Also, Fountains Might Not Be Safe)

Boy lifted into air by water fountain
Nice things continue to fall by the wayside. First, check out the above picture, found on several Chinese websites. Chutian City Paper has a good write-up of the incident, explaining that on August 1, a young boy playing in a fountain with high-pressure jet streams in Enshi, Hubei province was suddenly blasted two meters into the air. He landed on his face on the concrete, his clothes torn, face bloody.